According to the scientific community more than 2 million species of plants, animals, and microbes on Earth have been identified, but most experts believe and estimate that there are many millions more waiting to be discovered. Although it will definitely take centuries to discover all these new species, we conducted a humble search and came up with 25 incredible new species discovered in 2014. To be clear, this list involves both living and non-living discoveries.
20. Anthracosuchus balrogus
This extinct dyrosaur, a type of crocodilian, which roamed an ancient rain forest a few million years after the dinosaurs died, was described last year and was named after the fiery Balrog that lurked deep in the Middle-Earth mines of Moria in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. What we know about it so far is that with a blunt snout and powerful bite, it could eat turtles and battled monster snakes. Badass, huh?
15. Fiery-Red Coral Species
In the clear waters off the coast of Peru, researchers discovered a stunning new red coral species that was not previously described by scientists. The new species’ small size and intense red color along with other attributes, such as the shape of the coral polyps, distinguish this coral species from its relatives, according to the study.
10. Electrotettix attenboroughi
This extinct 20-million-year-old pygmy grasshopper was found trapped in a slab of Dominican amber that lay unstudied in a collection at the University of Illinois for over fifty years. It was named after Sir David Attenborough, brother of Jurassic Park actor Richard Attenborough.
5. Etendeka round-eared Sengi
In June 2014 an international group of biologists led by Dr. Jack Dumbacher from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco discovered a new species of elephant-shrew (round-eared sengi) from remote northwestern Namibia. The newly discovered species was named Etendeka from the name Etendeka from the Himba/Otji-Herero language of the Himba people from northwestern Namibia, and refers to the distinctive flat-topped mountains and rust-colored substrates of the region.